The agreement, which comes after the utility threatened to cut water to the municipality for a R400 million debt, will see R150 million paid to Rand Water by 11 December 2017. The shortfall of R30 million will be worked into a longer term agreement which will be broken down into R11 million a month for 24 months.
The municipality has also committed to ensuring its billing system is in line with the Systems Act and responsive enough to put municipal clients at ease.
“Part of ensuring long term sustainability of water supply must include addressing the billing challenges,” said Jacob Khawe, Emfuleni mayor.
“I want to assure residents of Emfuleni, business and various other users that we are working on billing improvement, and assure them that there will not be any water cuts and lives will not be interrupted”, he added.
More municipalities coming forward
Commenting on the matter Nomvula Mokonyane, minister of Water and Sanitation, said her department welcomes the payment agreement and commitment by Emfuleni Local Municipality to ensuring that the water debt is paid.
“This is a clear indication that our IGR framework is intact, and we are hopeful that other municipalities who owe for water supply will follow closely in the footsteps of Emfuleni,” she noted.
The department said it has received at least 11 proposals from various municipalities indicating willingness to pay and come to payment arrangements with the Department of Water and Sanitation for outstanding debts.